9 Best Healthy Cereals For Kids In 2024, Approved By Experts

✔ Research-backed

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and should not be missed. It provides us the energy and nutrition to be active throughout the day. The best cereals for kids are made to be good sources of nutrition while still being easy to prepare and serve.

Cereals go well with all sorts of other foods. You may mix cereals with milk, fruits, chocolates, raisins, almonds, and more to create a delicious and nutritious breakfast. Cereals also come in a variety of flavors, which keep children interested in eating them.

Jenni Hackworth, a nutritionist, states “I always have cereals in the house to snack on or eat with yogurt. It is a good addition to any breakfast and can be given to children occasionally, especially on days when they need extra energy to start their school day.”
Let’s take you through the parent-recommended cereals you can bring home for your children.


In This Article

9 Best Healthy Cereals For Kids To Enjoy Their Breakfast In 2024

1. Best Sugar-Frosted: Kellogg’s Breakfast Cereal Frosted Mini-Wheats

This popular breakfast cereal is known for being covered in frosting. A regular bowl of these Frosted Mini-Wheats contains five grams of fiber. This classic cereal is fortified with minerals and vitamins and is low in sodium. Team it up with fresh yogurt, fruits, almonds, and raisins to make it a complete breakfast for your child. Here’s a detailed review video of the product to help you decide.

Product Dimensions: 7.56 x 2.23 x 11.25 inches | Weight: 1.12 Pounds

Pros

  • Crunchy, bite-sized, and ready-to-eat
  • Made of 100% whole grain wheat
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • Excellent source of iron

Cons

  • Might be too sweet for some

2. Best Gluten-Free: Nature’s Path Millet Rice Sweetened with Fruit Juice

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4.6

One of the healthiest cereal options, this tried-and-tested vegan cereal is certified USDA organic and devoid of GMOs. Every bowl is said to offer 30g of whole grains. It has adequate fiber, no artificial colors, and is low in sugar–it has been sweetened using natural fruit juice. This gluten-free cereal does not contain wheat, thus making it a good cereal option for children with a wheat allergy. The outer box of the breakfast cereal is made from packaging that uses fewer raw materials when compared to conventional cardboard cereal boxes.

Product Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.97 x 2.36 inches | Weight: 5.14 Pounds

Pros

  • Tastes sweet and tangy
  • Great texture
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Contains organic barley malt extract for natural flavor
  • Good source of iron
  • Ideal for healthy daytime snacking

Cons

  • Quantity might be slightly low
  • May have an unpleasant aftertaste

Our Tester's Experience

"Finding a healthy cereal can be challenging, but this one's my preferred pick. My taste buds love the sweetness of the pear juice-infused cereal. However, they can turn soggy, so storing them in an air-tight box is best. Ideal for munching dry too, it makes for an enjoyable night snack."


protip_icon Did you know?
Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better academically than those who do not (4).

3. Best Vegan: Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola, Pumpkin Cinnamon

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4.4
Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola, Pumpkin Cinnamon Image: Purely Elizabeth

The key ingredients of this granola breakfast cereal for children are quinoa, millet, and chia seeds. Tested for safety, it is gluten-free and vegan and does not contain GMO ingredients. The flavorful cereal is sweetened with coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. Also, the granola is baked in coconut oil that contains medium-chain fatty acids that get easily converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.

Pros

  • Does not contain artificial flavors
  • Available in two flavors
  • Each ingredient adds nutritional value
  • Suitable for keto, vegan, and paleo diets
  • Contains only five grams of sugar per serving

Cons

  • Cinnamon flavor might not be prominent
  • Chia seed flavor might taste a little unpleasant for some

Our Tester's Experience

"I find myself constantly reaching for this granola—it's really tasty! The quality of ingredients shines through in its sweet, crunchy composition. The beauty of this granola is that it isn't overpowering or too sweet, effortlessly blending with cereal, yogurt, or even on its own."


worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The whopping 332 positive reviews on Amazon reflect the superior quality of this product.

Kellogg’s Breakfast Cereal Frosted Mini-Wheats
Best Sugar-Frosted
Nature’s Path Millet Rice Sweetened with Fruit Juice
Best Gluten-Free
Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Pumpkin Cinnamon
Best Vegan
Dimensions 7.56 x 2.23 x 11.25 inches 1.57 x 1.97 x 2.36 inches-
Weight 1.12 Pounds 5.14 Pounds-
Rating
Reviews1982,612332
Price$5.79$54.12$22.49

4. Best Non-GMO: Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten-Free Cereal, Maple Buckwheat Flakes

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4.3

This parent-recommended buckwheat cereal is made of organic ingredients and is high in fiber, making it one of the healthiest cereal options for your child. A single serving is said to contain 33g of whole grain cereals. It derives its sweet taste from sugar and maple syrup. The safety-tested cereal is gluten-free and tasty, just the way children like their breakfast. If you want to know more about this product, here’s a video worth watching.

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Simple to prepare
  • Crunchy texture
  • Grown without synthetic pesticides
  • Excellent source of vitamin C
  • Contains vitamin E to preserve freshness

Cons

  • Might be too crunchy for some
  • Quantity may not be sufficient

My Personal Experience

"I truly appreciate the optimal quality of this product. It's tasty, gluten-free, and versatile. I love adding hot water and dairy-free creamer and occasionally experiment by adding fruits or berries. It's perfect for breakfast or as a light dessert."


5. Best USDA-Certified: Nature’s Path EnviroKidz Koala Crisp Chocolate Cereal

Even the fussiest of eaters might find it difficult to refuse this tempting crisp chocolate cereal. The organic cereal is certified by the USDA and is free of gluten, GMO, and artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. This flavorful cereal tastes best with some warm milk. So, save it for those days when your child refuses to eat in the morning and you have no option but to lure them into having breakfast.

Product Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.97 x 2.36 inches | Weight: 11.46 Ounces

Pros

  • Made of rich cocoa and crispy brown rice puffs
  • Thick, crunchy, and sweet
  • Ideal snack for between meals
  • Pairs well with milk

Cons

  • Might be a bit bland for some
  • May not have enough fiber

Our Tester's Experience

"Returning to this cereal after years, it still pairs well with bananas and walnuts. Although the quantity may feel a little less, it remains crunchy and fresh for a long time. This cereal is a family favorite in my house."


protip_icon Quick tip
Add fresh fruits and a handful of dried fruits and seeds, such as sesame and chia seeds, to enhance breakfast’s nutritional value.

6. Best Protein-Rich: Kashi GO Honey Almond Flax Crunch Breakfast Cereal

A single serving of this cereal offers nine grams of protein and eight grams of fiber. The multigrain cereal contains almonds, whole flax seeds, barley, and oats and is free of GMO grains. Serve the cereal with milk, and your child will have a hearty breakfast.

Color: Black | Item Weight: ‎32.4 pounds | Product Dimensions: ‎12.5 x 25 x 35 inches

Pros

  • Perfect for healthy on-the-go snacking
  • Available in a variety of flavors
  • Great way to incorporate flaxseed into your diet
  • Contain omega-3
  • Crunchy texture

Cons

  • Quantity might be slightly low
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product boasts 1,104 reviews on Amazon, and many buyers have said they would purchase the product again.

7. Best Kosher-Certified: Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice Cereal

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4.5
Arrowhead Mills Cereal, Puffed Rice Image: Arrowhead Mills

This cereal is suitable for children who are advised a gluten-free diet. Made from puffed, whole grain brown rice, a single serving contains 60 calories and no added sugar and salt. This rice breakfast cereal for children is certified Kosher and does not contain trans-fats, making it a trusted cereal option. It can be enjoyed with milk or eaten as a regular snack.

Pros

  • No added salt
  • High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Generous quantity
  • Toasty and crunchy

Cons

  • Quantity might be slightly low

8. Best Single Ingredient: Nature’s Path Kamut Khorasan Wheat Puffs Cereal

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4.5

Wheat puffs are a crunchy, tasty, and healthy choice for breakfast. This tried-and-tested breakfast cereal contains only one ingredient, whole Kamut Khorasan wheat. It is sugar-free, vegan, and organic. You may add milk and fruits to the cereal to make it a complete breakfast for your child.

Product Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.97 x 2.36 inches | Weight: 1.04 Pounds

Pros

  • Eco-friendly bags
  • No artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Wholesome mid-day snack
  • Suitable for those with sensitive stomach

Cons

  • Might contain some husk

Our Tester's Experience

"This product reignited my joy for puffs. It tastes roasted and offers a fulfilling breakfast under 200 calories when paired with unsweetened almond milk and berries. Although not the most allergy-friendly option, it tastes even more delicious with some honey or fruit."


protip_icon Do remember
Look for cereals that contain at least two grams of fiber and no more than 10 to 12 grams of sugar per serving (5).

9. Best Low-Fat: Barbara’s Bakery Puffins Cereal

This high-fiber cereal is made with corn and oats. A single serving contains five grams of fiber. It is low in sodium, fat, and sugar and does not contain GMO ingredients. It may be a good cereal option for children with food allergies. You can serve the cereal with milk, banana, and brown sugar to make it a tasty breakfast.

Product Dimensions: 17.36 x 14.69 x 7.72 inches | Weight: 3.75 Pounds

Pros

  • Available in many flavors
  • Allergy-tested
  • Can be used for other snack recipes
  • Does not taste too sweet
  • Sweetened with molasses
  • Contains natural vitamin E to preserve freshness

Cons

  • Might be too crunchy for some.

Our Tester's Experience

"I found Barbara's Puffins cereal unexpectedly pleasant. It's mildly sweet, making it suitable for my family, especially the kids. They enjoy the oaty, slightly bran flavor. Although not the best for someone looking to bulk up, it is ideal for my family."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Packaged Cereals Vis-À-Vis Homemade Breakfast

Dr. Robert Murray of the American Academy of Pediatrics says, “Ideally, the first meal of the day should include a mix of servings chosen from a few of the five food groups (fruits, veggies, grains, dairy, and quality proteins), each high in nutritional value. Carbohydrates provide fuel, while proteins and fats provide energy and satiety over time (1).” A traditional American breakfast of eggs, yogurt, fruit smoothie, and whole-grain toast can provide most of the nutrients your child needs.
But what do you do when you have an important meeting to attend and are already running late? There are times when it is not possible to prepare an elaborate breakfast for your child. It is during such moments that packaged cereals come to the rescue.

Breakfast cereals are quick to make and easy to eat. However, they are often high in sugar content (2) (3) and low in fiber, which is not an ideal breakfast option for kids. But some brands offer cereals made from whole grains and low sugar content. Though these cereals are not a replacement to a regular homemade breakfast, they can be an occasional option for a quick breakfast for the child.

Jenni Hackworth, a nutritionist, states “I always have cereals in the house to snack on or eat with yogurt. It is a great addition to any breakfast and gives children the energy they need to start their school day.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What type of cereal is best for kids’ weight management?

You can use a cereal with natural ingredients, high fiber, and low quantities of sugar, fructose, and cornstarch to manage your kid’s weight. Cereal made with wheat, granola, or muesli can be a healthy choice to keep your kids full for a long time.

2. Is it healthy for my child to eat cereal every day?

Although cereals are not as good as a hot breakfast, you can give low-fat and high-fiber cereal to your kids daily. Cereals with nutritious and sugar-free ingredients can help you manage your child’s weight while keeping them active (6).

3. What type of milk should I use for cereal?

You can use any kind of milk with your cereals. Using milk of different nuts and grains can enhance the taste and texture of your cereal.

Why Trust MomJunction?

After careful analysis and research, Vibha Navarathna, the author of this article, has listed the best breakfast cereals for children that every parent should know about. She has browsed multiple websites and products and considered user reviews to ensure high-quality, nutritious cereals for your child. Tested and trusted by many reviewers, these cereals come in various flavors and types to suit your child’s needs. Vibha has also included a buying guide to help you find the right product.

The Bottom Line

The best healthy cereals for kids can ensure your child gets a well-balanced breakfast. However, since most breakfast cereals in the market are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, you should learn about their ingredients and benefits when shopping for breakfast cereals for your family. Our list includes cereal made of natural and organic ingredients, and some are gluten-free and low in fat. Our favorites are Kellogg’s Breakfast Cereal Frosted Mini-Wheats, which is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and Nature’s Path Millet Rice Sweetened with Fruit Juice, which is a gluten-free and low-sugar option.

Infographic: Common Cereal Grains And Their Health Benefits

Breakfast cereals are convenient and nutritious options that provide a quick and delicious start to the day, offering a variety of flavors and textures to suit different preferences and dietary needs. Check out the following infographic to learn more about the nutritional benefits of the grains commonly used to make breakfast cereals.

Health Benefits Of Different Cereal Grains (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Breakfast: Most Important Meal of the Day More Important Than We Thought; American Academy of Pediatrics
2. R. Khehra, R. M. Fairchild  & M. Z. Morgan; UK children’s breakfast cereals – an oral health perspective; BDJ Team
3. Terence Tong, Anna Rangan, and Luke Gemming; Evaluating the Nutritional Content of Children’s Breakfast Cereals in Australia; Children (2018)
4. Healthy Breakfasts for Kids: It’s All About Balance.
5. The Scoop on Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereals.

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Jenni Hackworth is a mom and a yoga trainer, who began giving yoga training in 1998 but took a break to raise her children full-time. Once she restarted the classes through ISSA after the break, she got certified as a personal trainer, transformation specialist, and nutritionist/sports nutritionist. She obtained a 200-hour yoga teaching certificate with Yogamu in India and also...read full bio